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Significant changes for St. Joseph's (mid-1960s to present)

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1968 The new school (Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center today) was built to relieve overcrowding. The nuns were replaced with lay volunteers when the school was built.

1970 The present dining hall was completed with modern facilities. Today, it provides lunch during the school day and serves as a grocery shop for the homes.

1975 A new gym with a swimming pool was built to provide year-round activities for the students, especially during the long winter months.

1979 This was an experimental year. Ten students and two houseparents were housed in the St. Francis Home to give the students a more family-like setting. After evaluation, this living arrangement was found to be beneficial for the students.

1980-1983 The conversion from dormitories to residential living units was completed. Each home houses 10-12 students. Family living units changed the way St. Joseph's operated by providing a wholistic approach of care for the students.

The Lakota (Sioux) children attending St. Joseph's Indian School attend mass at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel.

The Indian Christ tapestry, by Lakota artist Oscar Howe, is the focal point of Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel.

1985 Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel, built in 1956, was completely remodeled. The Catholic and Lakota traditions are brought together in the chapel design.

1989 The former boys' dormitory, facing the Missouri River, was remodeled into classrooms to allow 12 students per class. Smaller classrooms were needed to better assist the various student needs.

An additional family living unit was also built in 1989.

1990 The development office and visitor's center opened in 1990. The visitor's center welcome 25,000 visitors to campus each year. The development office reaches out to millions of people each year to join in social service and apostolate of prayer programs.

1991 The high school boys' home is purchased. This is the first family living unit located off St. Joseph's campus. One of the reasons for locating the home in town was to integrate the program more closely into the life of the local community.

The Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center features beautiful Native American art and collectibles.

The Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center honors the Lakota people and serves as an educational center for the Lakota children at St. Joseph's Indian School.

1992 The round school was converted to the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center to showcase and embrace Lakota culture.

1994 Tipi Press Printing opens providing an on-campus print shop to print direct mail for the development program. Tipi Press Printing brings greater flexibility and decreased costs.

1996 The Tiyospaye Center opens, allowing families of students a place to stay while visiting their children on campus.

2000 A tunnel was built between the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center and gym to connect heating, etc.

2001 A new SCJ home was constructed for religious staff.

2003 Opened the Kateri Home - two new high school homes - after renovating the former SCJ residence.

The Sacred Hoop Center was built on St. Joseph's Indian School's campus in 2004.

The Sacred Hoop Center offers family and individual services in therapy, counseling, education, group work and career counseling.

2003 Purchased Main Street building for the Thrift Store. Some of St. Joseph's students are employed at the Thrift Store. The store supplies clothing to people from around the area, including local reservations.

2004 Built the Sacred Hoop Center to integrate family members into day-to-day student programming at St. Joseph's.

2006 30th Annual Powwow and ground breaking for two new high school homes.

St. Joseph's Indian School's front entrance statue
"The foundational sculpture is titled "St. Joseph and Child." He is symbolic of our staff who hold the child as they learn together." ~John Beheler & Darwin Wolf

2007 New high school homes are dedicated during the 31st Annual Powwow. A new bronze statue was unveiled and dedicated at the entrance of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

2008 St. Joseph’s Indian school updated their Recreational Center with new flooring, lighting, and paint.

2009 Murals depicting tribal flags were created and mounted on the walls of St. Joseph’s Dining Hall. Renovation on the Cyr and Perky Homes is completed.

2010 Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel received underpinning and re-roofing. Renovation on the Fisher and Pinger Homes is completed.

2011 Renovation on the Speyer and Rooney is completed. Renovation begins in the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center.

2012 Renovation of the Stevens and Mathias Homes was completed. The Tokya uŋk njiŋpi (We stood here in the beginning) Alumni & Historical Center is completed. The historical center’s mission is to create an experience for visitors that embodies the school’s motto: “We Serve and Teach; We Receive and Learn” and preserve memories and bear witness to the diversity, challenges and accomplishments of the religious community, students, staff and benefactors of St. Joseph’s Indian School since its founding in 1927. The alumni area is designed to help former students connect with classmates, teachers, religious mentors, and staff.

2013 St. Joseph's Thrift Store opens at its new location on North Main Street. St. Joseph's Personal Care Center opens on Main Street in Chamberlain. St. Joseph's Donor Care Center opens in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

2014 With other home renovations complete, the David Home reopens to house 12 Lakota girls in grades 1-3 bringing St. Joseph’s home total to 20.

2015 St. Joseph's Indian School opens two senior homes on campus. These homes provide opportunities for St. Joseph's seniors to learn skills and responsibilities they will need to be successful after graduation.

2016 St. Joseph’s Indian School breaks ground on a new health center. The Health and Family Services Center will enable our health center and counseling staff to provide comprehensive, holistic care for our students and their families in an ADA-compliant, private space.


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